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Italy Signals Intent to Exit China’s Belt and Road Initiative

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Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has privately communicated to China’s Premier Li Qiang during the G20 Summit in India that Italy is looking to withdraw from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreement, which was signed four years ago. This move follows growing concerns within Italy about the impact and effectiveness of the BRI on its economy and international relations.

Italy’s Defence Minister, Guido Crosetto, previously described the BRI as an “improvised and atrocious” decision, fueling speculation about Italy’s reconsideration of the agreement. Italy’s potential withdrawal from the BRI is significant, as it would make Italy the only major Western nation to exit the initiative, testing its diplomatic ties with both China and the United States.

Despite these intentions, Italy aims to maintain friendly relations with Beijing, as Prime Minister Meloni plans to visit China in the coming months. The decision highlights the complex nature of international agreements and the evolving dynamics of global partnerships.